israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Debris inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 16, 2019, a day after a fire that devastated the iconic building. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)

A prominent Israeli rabbi suggests that the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been divine retribution, indicates that the burning of churches in Israel may be problematic only in that they may be rebuilt.

by Kathryn Shihadah

Times of Israel reported in Radical rabbi says Notre Dame fire retribution for 13th-century Talmud burning that a prominent extremist rabbi believes the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been “divine retribution for the mass-burning of Talmud volumes by French Catholic priests” in 1242.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the rabbi of the illegal Beit El settlement, instructs Jews that they need not feel saddened by the fire that devastated the 12th century cathedral, priceless artifacts, and works of art.

Ancient animosity

Aviner said: “Christians must be punished.”

[Christianity] is our number one enemy throughout history. [They] tried to convert us by arguments and by force, carried out an inquisition against us, burned the Talmud, expulsions, pogroms. Western anti-Semitism draws from Christianity’s hatred of the ‘murderers of God.’ It also had a role in the Holocaust.

The first great Talmud burning happened in Paris, right there at the Notre Dame Cathedral square. It was the result of the Paris trial in which Jewish sages were forced to debate Christian sages, and the result was the burning of the Talmud. Volumes of Talmud were brought in 20 carts and burned there, 1,200 Talmud volumes. So [the fire demonstrates] ‘there is justice and there is a Judge.

The 1240 Disputation of Paris, in which rabbis were forced to defend accusations that the Talmud was anti-Christian, was remembered by medieval Jews as a traumatic event. The public “trial” culminated in the burning of some 1,200 volumes of Talmud and other Jewish holy texts in Paris in 1242.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that the burning of Talmuds had been triggered by a Jewish man named Nicholas Donin who had converted to Christianity. Donin traveled to Rome and presented the pope with a list of complaints about the Talmud. Among them the fact that a number of its passages “blasphemed Jesus and Mary, and attacked non-Jews.” During the French disputation about the Talmud, it was Donin who argued against it,* ultimately resulting in the pope’s decree that the books be “burned at the stake.”

Modern directive

In an online discussion as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned, Avner was unwilling to take a definite stand on the “divine retribution” theory. He conceded that “we do not know the secrets of God”; yet he dismissed the possibility that several recent fires in Israel could be punishment.

Aviner does not encourage the burning of churches in general – “for the time being.” However, he hesitated to condemn the practice inside Israel, stating that the  “issue is more complicated” in the Jewish State. When a church is destroyed, it will likely be rebuilt, and building a church in Israel “is a greater transgression than leaving one intact.”

Mondoweiss reports that, far from being a fringe figure, Aviner is “considered to be one most important rabbis of the religious nationalist sector. He is a prolific writer, having published more than 200 books.”

It points out that Aviner does not merely state his own opinion about church-burning, but quotes two sources (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher and the Satmar Rabbi), a fact which “says volumes about the discourse among his followers and students.”

Mondoweiss notes: “Several churches have been burnt in Israel in the last few years, and the police have been spectacularly useless in capturing the arsonists. In several cases, the arson was accompanied by slogans familiar from ‘price tag’ attacks in the West Bank (mostly along the lines of Jewish vengeance).”

The targeting of homes, vehicles, and Palestinian individuals have also been a daily occurrence.


*Editor’s note:

A number of authors have discussed anti-Christian passages in the Talmud. Peter Schäfer’s book Jesus in the Talmud, published by Princeton University Press, notes that the Talmud referred to Jesus as a bastard and his mother Mary as an adulteress; he is depicted as “sitting forever in boiling excrement.”

Israeli author Israel Shahak’s informative book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, also addresses this, as well as other aspects of the Talmud, stating:

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt of rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources which mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

Shahak reports in another book on the subject that a 1996 Ha’aretz article stated the following (bracketed phrases inserted by Shahak]:

A check of main facts of the [Jewish] historiography of the last 1500 years shows that the picture is different from the one previously shown to us. It includes massacres of Christians [by Jews]; mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus that usually took place on Purim; cruel murders within the family; liquidation of informers, often done for religious reasons by secret rabbinical courts, which issued a sentence of “pursuer” and appointed secret executioners; assassinations of adulterous women in synagogues and/or the cutting of their [the women’s] noses by command of the rabbis. Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages. (Some isolated cases occurred in sixteenth-century Poland.)

Shahak added: “Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages.”


Kathryn Shihadah is staff writer for If Americans Knew. She blogs at Palestine Home


RELATED READING:

Israel is not as Christian-friendly as you think

Everyone could celebrate Easter in Jerusalem except Palestinian Christians

Israel bars Gaza Christians from Easter worship

Israel’s ‘Rule of the Rabbis’ Who Preach Genocide Fuels Holy War

The Moral Decadence of Zionism

What does the Bible really say about modern Israel?

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israeli (apartheid state) Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians Are Part of a Bigger Evil

Israeli Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians Are Part of a Bigger Evil

Most moral army in the world? Keep tripping

Forget “anti-semitism, this is real racism: israelis ‘undergo Jewish DNA test before being allowed to marry’

Israelis ‘undergo Jewish DNA test before being allowed to marry’

MEMO | March 12, 2019

DNA test sample [File photo]

DNA test sample [File photo]

Israel’s rabbinate “has been performing genetic testing on Israelis from the former Soviet Union, to check if they are ‘genetically Jewish’ as a condition for marriage registration”, according to Ynet.

The new site reported that “at least 20 couples have come forward after having been asked to undergo the procedure in the past year.”

“Although the existence of such tests was initially denied by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau admitted to having requested that some couples prove their Jewish status,” Ynet added, noting that “Lau claimed those were isolated incidents and there was no coercion.”

Ynet’s investigation revealed that “the complicated procedure was undertaken not only by the couples themselves but also by their relatives.”

“In one instance, a young woman who went to the rabbinate before her wedding was asked to conduct a DNA test along with her mother and her aunt, in order to eliminate the possibility that her mother was adopted,” the article stated.

“The young woman was told that if she refused the request, her marriage application would be denied,” Ynet added. “The rabbinate has control over Jewish religious rites in Israel.”

“According to the evidence accumulated by Ynet, these instances are examples of what appears to be a growing phenomenon where those applying to register for marriage, are being asked to undergo genetic testing if they want to have their requests granted,” the paper stated.

“Unfortunately, there are immigrants who, despite their eligibility under the Law of Return, are not defined as Jews according to Halacha,” said Lau in response. “In a few cases, there are those who claim to be Jews, but don’t possess the necessary documents to confirm it…or we find contradictions between their statements and what we would uncover about them”.

“In these cases we suggest undergoing DNA tests that would strengthen their claims,” he said. “It’s never forced upon anyone and only used to assist applicants in the research process.”

Jewish terrorist “If you don’t leave this house, I will slaughter your children”

“If you don’t leave this house, I will slaughter your children” – settler

On the night of February 16, ISM activists joined a number of local Protection Unit activists to go on a night patrol of the old city in Al Khalil. During the night patrol we were brought into the home of of a family who have recently experienced intimidation and harassment from settlers and the military.

Our hosts described to us how settlers, including prominent Hebron settlement spokesperson Noam Arnon invaded the family home by climbing down the stairs from their rooftop, accompanied by the Israeli army. Our host described how, in the presence of the army, Noam Arnon threatened that he would murder the entire family who lived in the house if they did not submit to the demands of the settlers and give up their home. This disgusting threat was allegedly made by the man who is often portrayed as a man of peace, and a reasonable voice in the settler community. Our host went on to describe how Anat Cohen, another prominent settler in Al Khalil, was watching this interaction from a nearby home, encouraging the soldiers and settlers to kill the homeowners.

Nighttime invasions of homes by the military are common throughout occupied Palestine. However, instances like this shine a light on the inner workings of the occupation. The event described above is the occupation in a microcosm: one of the world’s most technologically advanced armies, acting on behalf of a group of extremists with an agenda of ethnic cleansing. There is no justice in an occupation

 

Was Ancient “israel” really some place else, or, more likely, “Never Was…”

Was Ancient “Israel” really some place else, or, more likely, “Never…

By Gordon Duff with Dr. Asraf Ezzat and Jonas Alexis

We just saw a fun video that says Moses crossed the Middle of the Red Sea and that biblical Mt. Sinai was hundreds of miles away from Palestine, meaning Judea and Samaria.

I will put this as short as possible, including the Sputnik article that went with the silly video and a longer piece from two VT regulars with actual qualifications, one an actual Egyptian archaeologist (and MD/pediatrician).

History can’t find a “State of Israel” or “Kingdom of Israel,” they can’t really find any evidence whatsoever that “Israelites” were ever in Egypt as well.

The area Israel claims today at no time was ever home to a Jewish kingdom of any kind, it was all made up.  It was either Egyptian or Babylonian or Assyrian.

Moreover, it has long been accepted that Moses is a myth as well, something that will hit a number of religions and that the Pentateuch, meaning the five books of Moses are utterly fake as well.

Carrying this further, do note that Matthew, Mark and John were never apostles, that the fake apostle Paul never met Jesus and that Christianity has a history that comes from the East, not from Judea, but Iran.

The real history of Christianity and other religions we won’t mention, is quite different than given, so much different that the centuries of wars driven by a fake Moses or a quite disturbed and equally fake Noah and Abraham….

All of it was made up.

What is worse, when we look at real archeology, which can take the roots of just the Western civilizations alone back well over 10,000 years, we find scholarship skewed to fit into biblical crap.

For a century, the universities under the hammer of the Vatican and Rothschilds, have choked off any real scholarship.  If you want 10,000 year old artifacts from Europe, the Vinca’s in Serbia or want to see “Bronze” or “Iron Age” fakery, all of of it thousands of years older than purported, you can just go on Ebay.
Tel Halaf, Syrian-Turkish border, 6000BC – Jim Dean

We can have Jim Dean put some photos up some of his 4500BC Tel Halaf idols (Syria/Turkey border), or some of his new Vinca stuff from Bulgaria and Serbia, 6-7000 years old. And if you have time maybe he can dig out his stone tools, one of them an Oldowan, going back a million years.

I studied archaeology and spent some years , on the ground, in Africa, the Middle East/South Asia and Europe, noting how history had been fictionalized.

The “Celtic” civilizations that can be traced along Europe’s Western exterior, from the Irish shore to Brittany, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and down into Africa, is many thousands of years older than given, making Robert E. Howard, of Conan the Barbarian fame, a better historian than one might have guessed.

A simple run across the now Kurdish held regions of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran yield evidence of hundreds of settlements thousands of years before “pre-history” while digs in Turkey, rapidly being purposefully misconstrued carbon date to up to 15,000 BC.

Western Sahara, stone tool blades just lying on the ground, 10K to 120K BC, far as the eye can see – Jim Dean

The sad and insane part of it is the attempt to fake a Middle Eastern “homeland” for the millions of Eastern Europeans that are hereditary members of the Jewish faith.

The entire history of the region, when Christianity entered Russia and the Baltic, how those groups interacted with Mongol and other “invaders,” and how Europe as we know it, particularly the languages of Hungary and Finland as evidence, is fake.

So, what we have done is, in order to fit into the mold of the Vatican and the “no-Semitic blood whatsoever” European Jews, who of course look just like the rest of us because that is exactly what they are, we have erased history, quashed scholarship, destroyed any chance of properly investigating our own civilizations and heritage, all to fit into a post-war scenario that requires some questioning as well.

Controlling the media, mass censorship of now two centuries of research, an endless series of fake wars and then religion…

*

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“My first Vinca fertility idol, 16cm, 4500 BC” – Jim Dean

Sputnik/Moscow: The biblical Mount Sinai is traditionally placed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, but some researchers say it could be located over a hundred miles eastwards on the Arabian Peninsula across the Gulf of Aqaba.

Ryan Mauro, the national security analyst at the non-profit anti-extremist Clarion Project, and the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation have released the results of a two-year joint search for the holy site in a documentary titled “Finding the Mountain of Moses: The Real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia”.

According to the new investigation, the actual place where Moses received the Ten Commandments is in Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom is well aware of this fact.

The documentary claims, based on several Christian, Jewish, and Islamic sources, that the biblical Mount Sinai is actually located in northwest Saudi Arabia. Ryan Mauro alleges that the Saudi government has been trying to conceal its location from the rest of the world using “fences, police, and a threat of force”.

He has interviewed locals and reached out to a person connected with jihadists to back up his claims.

“When I was in the jihad world, we all knew the Mount Sinai was in Saudi Arabia,” said an unidentified man, who hid his face and used a voice-changing filter. “The people on the outside, even most Muslims, had no idea that it was there. Because we, fighters, didn’t want anyone to know about it.”

“We all knew that the Saudi government hid it and protected it with security, and we all agreed with it. We believe that if a site — even a holy site — is visited by people and used for idolatry, it should be destroyed. But our hiding it, according to the Islamic law, is what saved it so you can see it today and appreciate it.”

Mauro claims key evidence is in jeopardy due to a $500 billion futuristic mega-city project, which is to be built in the coming years. “The Saudis are construction a super city that is planned to be 33 times the size of New York. If all of us don’t take action, Saudi construction in the area may destroy key evidence and prevent excavation for the foreseeable future.”

He has launched a website to try and convince Saudi Arabia to preserve the site.

In this Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1998 file photo, the shadow of Mount Sinai stretches across the valley at the foot of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai peninsula some 240 miles southeast of Cairo, EgyptIn this Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1998 file photo, the shadow of Mount Sinai stretches across the valley at the foot of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai peninsula some 240 miles southeast of Cairo, Egypt” src=”https://cdn5.img.sputniknews.com/images/107075/69/1070756926.jpg” alt=”In this Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1998 file photo, the shadow of Mount Sinai stretches across the valley at the foot of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai peninsula some 240 miles southeast of Cairo, Egypt”
© AP Photo / Enric Marti

 

The analyst believes that Jabal Maqla, one of the tallest mountains in the Arabian Peninsula and a peak on the mountain range of Jabal al-Lawz, is the actual place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

He invokes Moses’ account from the book of Exodus and cites the blackened top of the mountain, which could have been burnt by the Lord descended on Mount Sinai in fire, as per the Book of Exodus. However, he admits, these could simply be natural volcanic rocks.

He also alleges to have found Elam, the oasis where Moses and the Israelites found water after crossing the Red Sea en route to Mount Sinai, and what could have been several other pieces of evidence, like a rock split by Moses or the remains of an ancient altar where the Israelites worshipped a golden calf while Moses was on top of the mountain.

“Think of how many things line up with the biblical story right here at this mountain,” Mauro concludes, defying a popular theory that the biblical Mount Sinai is located in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites?

“Bad history makes sweeping generalizations for which there is not adequate evidence and ignores awkward facts that do not fit.”[1]

christopher;Historian Christopher Behan McCullagh argues in his seminal study Justifying Historical Descriptions that there are at least seven tests historians use to determine the best explanation through which to view historical facts and inferences. Here are his arguments:

“The theory is that one is rationally justified in believing a statement to be true if the following conditions obtain:

“1) The statement, together with other statements already held to be true, must imply yet other statements describing present, observable data. (We will henceforth call the first statement ‘the hypothesis,’ and statements describing observable data, observation statements.’)

“2)The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory scope than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must imply a greater variety of observation statements.

“3)The hypothesis must be of greater explanatory power than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must make the observation statements it implies more probable than any other.

“4) They hypothesis must be more plausible than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must be implied to some degree by a greater variety of accepted truths than any other, and be implied more strongly than any other; and its probable negation must be implied by fewer beliefs, and implied less strongly than any other.

“5) The hypothesis must be less ad hoc than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, it must include fewer new suppositions about the past which are not already implied to some extent by existing beliefs.

“6) It must be disconfirmed by fewer accepted beliefs than any other incompatible hypothesis about the same subject; that is, when conjoined with accepted truths it must imply fewer observation statements and other statements which are believed to be false.

“7) It must exceed other incompatible hypotheses about the same subject by so much, in characteristics 2 to 6, that there is little chance of an incompatible hypothesis, after further investigation, soon exceeding it in these respects.”[2]

Peter Lipton of Cambridge constructs similar arguments in his work Inference to the Best Explanation. He argues that

“We infer what would, if true, be the best explanation of our evidence. On this view, explanatory considerations are our guide to inference.”[3]

Over the past ten years or so, I have tried to stay away from unscholarly books—most specifically books that do not abide by historical principles, rigorous testing, explanatory scope, intellectual honesty, and inference to the best explanation.

In fact, people continue to send me books to review, and on a number of occasions I have declined for the very fact that many of those books or essays do not following logical principles and do not take the search for truth seriously.

When I first started reading Ashraf Ezzat’s Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites, I was very interested in seeing the evidence, footnotes, citations, historical documentations, logical and rigorous inferences, and bibliography precisely because the title of the book itself is a claim of knowledge and requires extraordinary evidence. Moreover, the title itself places a huge burden of proof on Ezzat.

I was really eager to examine the full force of Ezzat’s argument and logic. Frankly, I was really disappointed. Let us just cut to the chase and start with some examples.


Ezzat has a chapter entitled “Ancient Egypt Knew No Slavery.” Hopefully the name of that particular chapter will be edited in the second edition of the book, for the statement itself is historically indefensible.[4] We have a plethora of historical evidence indicating that ancient Egypt, like all ancient civilizations, did know slavery.[5] One historian in particular writes,

“A papyrus dating to the late Middle Kingdom…indicates that individuals permanently assigned to government work as punishment could be transferred to private hands through unknown means, and, in the status essentially of ‘slave,’ be inherited and sold like any property as indicated by texts such as ‘I have acquired three slaves…in addition to those that my father granted me.’

“Slaves could be drawn from debtors (including those who sold themselves into slavery to satisfy debts), but most commonly from criminals and, in the New Kingdoms, prisoners of war. Children of slaves were born into servitude, but they could be freed.

“A text regarding inheritance from Deir el Medina indicates that a male slave was considered to be worth twice the value of a female. Slaves were generally associated with the land that they worked. Yet, there is evidence that the unfree could be compensated for their labor.”[6]

Other historians write,

“Slavery was recognized by law in the Late Period and is well illustrated by surviving contracts of sale. Legally the slave owned nothing at all. He was a living chattel who could be bought and sold at will.

“Many slaves would have been foreigners who owned their position to such factors as war, foreign trade, or both, but it was undoubtedly possible for Egyptians themselves to sink to this level—indeed, at Elephantine during the Persian period we find Egyptians even functioning as slaves of Jewish mercenaries.”[7]

As previously suggested, no civilization in the ancient world lacked slavery,[8] and that includes ancient Greece and Rome.[9] Yet Ezzat, without an iota of serious scholarly sources, irresponsibly declares,

“And if we make a quick research about slavery in the ancient Near East we will discover that slavery, where bound humans were regarded as economic property/merchandise liable to transaction, ownership and inheritance, was a common culture in Assyria, Babylon and Syria but most notably all-pervasive in the Arab peninsula.

“As for ancient Egypt, this will surely come as an amazing surprise; slavery was not at all a common tradition. Throughout most of its time span as a united kingdom, slavery was not practiced in ancient Egypt as a legitimate trade. I mean this culture of trading bound humans as profitable goods on public markets was definitely not an Egyptian accepted culture.

“I’m not going to refer to prisoners of war and their slave-like status in captivity in ancient Egypt for our Joseph was certainly not one. Neither will I be talking much about those misinterpreted religious text found carved on Egyptian temple walls in which the priests define themselves as slaves of the supreme god.”

Ezzat provides one link for all these assertions—hardly a serious scholarly source for extraordinary claims such as this.  I will not attempt to respond to this particular link at all. But it was at that point in the book that I realize that Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites was not going to be scholarly and rigorous book as I hope it would be.

What is even more astonishing is that Ezzat asserts that it was slavery, brought on by foreigners, which largely destroyed Egyptian civilization! “Interestingly,” he says, “in a strange way this new culture of slavery heralded the fall of the Egyptian empire.”

The evidence? It was nowhere to be found. You’ve got to take Ezzat’s words.

These are not isolated cases. The book, which purports to be historical, is littered with statements like that. I was quite uncomfortable reading the book largely because of this particular issue.

A book which purports to be historical and which seeks to deconstruct previously known accounts must at least provide enough historical evidence or rigorous methods which can be verified and studied by any serious researcher and expert.

In fact, numerous historians and scholars of various stripes have already addressed many of the issues raised in Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites. The works of those scholars are simply an embarrassment of riches.[10]


There are also too many bold assertions in the book with little evidence or no historical backup. For example, we read that “neither Abraham nor Joseph ever set foot in Egypt or even dreamed about it.” The statement itself is a claim of knowledge, and the historical evidence for this assertion was again weighed and found wanting.

To build his case, Ezzat brings in Herodotus. He rightly admits that Herodotus’ account “is tinged with a brush of exaggerations and misconceptions,” but since Herodotus never discusses Israel in Egypt, therefore his account “is extremely helpful and gives us a documented and rare insight into the land of the Pyramids at the remote point in time.”

In other words, anything that seems to support Ezzat’s thesis will be brought to the fore, though some of those things are without serious analysis.

The fact is that scholars of various stripes have examined Herodotus’ accounts and have come to the conclusion that he was in some instances ignorant of the history of Egypt and had to rely on hearsay.[11] Ezzat admits, “according to the purpose of our research this hearsay documentation is what we really want.”

Sure. Ezzat wants hearsay—and he got it.


We are also told that “Egypt never witnessed any of the stories of the Jewish patriarchs and that the land of the Nile valley knew neither Pharaohs nor any Israelites. Egypt was never the land of the Israelites Exodus nor is Palestine their Promised Land.” According to Ezzat, “if Egypt knew no Pharaohs then it goes without saying that Egypt never knew Moses either.” That again is a claim of knowledge, for which no serious historical evidence was presented.

Moreover, this argument suffers very badly. As French Egyptologist Nicolas Grimal argued, if the Hebrews were actually in Egypt, the lack of evidence for this event should not be “surprising, given that the Egyptians had no reason to attach any importance to the Hebrews.”[12]


What particularly shocks me as I sift through many of the bold assertions in the book is that Ezzat on several occasions dismisses the work of archeologists and experts with one or two sentences with little or no historical research. Sometimes he does not even address the so-called flaws in the work that those people produce. It was really stunning to observe how he quickly dismisses the work of archeologist William F. Albright. Here is how Ezzat dismisses him,

“The Biblical school of archeology headed by the American William F. Albright began misinterpreting many of the places in Palestine and thereby confusing them with Biblical ones. The result was a series of concocted discoveries that instead of verifying the historicity of the Bible added all the more ambiguity.

“By the mid of the 20th century the Albright school of Biblical archeology was condemned as biased and unreliable by a modern trend of scientific and objective Archeology.”

That is all. No interaction with Albright’s work, which is quite massive,[13] no serious argument, and no serious documentation. Ezzat’s conclusion is already built into his presupposition and therefore there is no way that Albright’s massive study is plausible.

In philosophy, this is called question-begging or circular argument. In fact, if you click Albright’s name in Ezzat’s book, you are confronted with one of the most scholarly sources on the face of the planet: Wikipedia! Ezzat makes the same cardinal mistake in his recent article.

This is certainly embarrassing for a book that purports to be historical—and it is even more hysterical when people who obviously know very little of ancient history begin to quote Egypt Knew No Pharaohs Nor Israelites as truth. Those people seem to have been looking for something—anything—that will support their preconceived notion, and the book seems to have been a sigh of relief for them.

Let us be clear here: we are not denying that Wikipedia can be used as a source of information, but from a scholarly perspective, it was Ezzat’s job to interact with the actual work that Albright has produced before he dismisses him. He decided to take the easy route because this quick move presumably will help his case. That certainly should give one the impression that the book should not be taken seriously.

What is quite obvious throughout the book is that scholars who do not support Ezzat’s thesis will be dismissed or ignored without sober thought. But scholars who support his enterprise will be mentioned over and over. But the interesting point is that Ezzat quotes Egyptologist Donald B. Redford approvingly throughout his book, but he could never tell his readers that Redford also believes that ancient Egypt had slaves,[14] a point which Ezzat denies.


This is not the first time that Ezzat has tried to dismiss other people’s work with a few sentences and without historical or rational rigor. In a private correspondence, one individual particularly asked Ezzat what he thought about Colin Humphreys’ The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist’s Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories. Ezzat responded:

“I’ve read the book The Miracles of Exodus by Colin Humphreys. The man is trying his best to scientifically corroborate the Ten Plagues and the Exodus. Humphreys set out his scientific expedition from Mount Sinai and the Red Sea.

“In his 300-page book he makes good use of all his scholarly skills and tricks, only he overlooked the fact that the Hebrew Bible never mentioned the Red sea or Mount Sinai in the first place (hilarious).

“Our poor Humphreys has been duped (like millions around the world) by the distorted Greek translation of the Hebrew book. Humphreys, like James Cameron in his funny documentary ‘The Exodus Decoded’, is building his mesmerizing thesis on a false premise. Falsification is what Humphreys, Cameron, and hordes of Biblically deluded figures are actually embracing and chivalrously defending.”

Is this how the scholarly world works? Can anyone disprove any scholarly study by saying that a scholar has been “duped” without seriously pointing out the central flaws of the author?

Furthermore, isn’t there an implicit circular argument here as well? I mean, is it not possible to disprove Ezzat’s book by saying that he has been misled without providing serious argument? How could he not see that his argument here is intellectually vacuous?


There are also emotional assertions in the book which seem to suggest that the author is grasping at straws. Consider this:

“There is something mysterious about Ancient Egypt. Something doesn’t seem right; how could the land that witnessed the first dawn of human conscience and righteousness be hit with God’s wrath as said in the Bible? This simply defies common sense to begin with.”

Let us grant that argument for a moment. Isn’t it possible that this principle could also be applied to the Hebrews as well? Didn’t thousands upon thousands of them get “hit with God’s wrath” when they stayed away from the moral law and invented their own codes in the desert and elsewhere? Didn’t the book of Numbers (Numbers 25) say that more than twenty-thousand Hebrews died in just a few days because they got involved with sexual debauchery? Didn’t they go to Babylon numerous times because of their perpetual rebellion?

Through the “Biblical narrative,” Ezzat tells us, “we see nothing in Egypt except absolute tyranny and enslavement of god’s chosen people.” He continues to say that “According to the Bible, ancient Egypt is the land of idolatry, tyranny and slavery.” Is that all we see in the “Biblical narrative”?

If that were the case, why did the writers of this “Biblical narrative” even reveal that Joseph and his brothers went to Egypt in order to have a better livelihood? Why did they account that Joseph and his brothers had a friendly relationship with the Egyptians for years? Why did Joseph have to marry an Egyptian?

Why did the genealogy of Christ include foreigners such as Canaanite and Moabite and Hittite women? In other words, why did the Old Testament have to praise people like Rahab, Ruth, Tamar, Bathsheba, among others? Why did King Solomon have to marry Pharaoh’s daughter? Why was Job, who was not even a Hebrew, part of the canon?

Furthermore, no one was exempt from God’s punishment or chastisement. If Ezzat’s argument is to be taken seriously here, why didn’t he tell his readers that there was tyranny among the Hebrews as well? In fact, the Israelites went to captivity for their constant rebellion and tyranny against their fellow men and for worshiping idols. Listen to this:

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:4).

Hosea also declares,

“Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God…Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies…O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity” (Hosea 9:1, 10:13, 14:1).

The book of Micah declares that “the house of Jacob, and the princes of the house of Israel” not only “abhor judgment, and pervert all equity,” but “build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity” (Micah 3:9-10). For their wickedness, they were all punished again and again.

“And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

“Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

“And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon.

“And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

“And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia” (2 Chronicles 36:15-20).

Ezzat does not even attempt to address or raise these issues because he probably didn’t think about them before he wrote the book. They obviously weaken his arguments.


“In the Biblical story of Egypt,” Ezzat tells us, “we are faced with a narrative that is not only remote from Egyptologists but absolutely contrary to the moral Egypt and its Maat’s code of conduct the scholars of history and archeology have long discovered.”

Would all Egyptologists make that claim, or is Ezzat making a proposition which he hopes will support his thesis?

Second, having a moral code does not necessitate the idea that kings and nations are going to live according to the moral code. The United States for example has The Constitution and other legal documents, but the government hardly follows what is written in those documents.


Ezzat builds a false dichotomy in the book which certainly deserves some attention:

“Either the Egyptologists’ narrative is mistaken or the Biblical one is falsified. There is not a third option. At least if we want to be logical about it. Some argued that a third option actually exists.

“The way they see it, ancient Egypt was a great civilization throughout most of its time span, except for the period during which this infamous Pharaoh rose to power. But if that argument holds any water, how come everybody, including Egyptologists, is referring to all the kings of Egypt as Pharaohs?

“If that argument is valid, the whole of ancient Egypt would have converted to Judaism instantly after the God of the Israelites had revealed his might by destroying the land and its king (so-called Pharaoh).”

Once again, by “Egyptologists,” Ezzat means people who agree with his thesis. He knows for example a large body of scholars who do not support his premises. In fact, “Prior to the nineteenth century only a few scholars questioned the historicity of the patriarchal narratives of Genesis and stories of the sojourn-exodus and Joshua’s conquest of the land of Canaan.”[15]

Will Durant noted,

“The story of the ‘bondage’ in Egypt, of the use of the Jews as slaves in great construction enterprises, their rebellion and escape—or emigration—to Asia, has many internal signs of essential truth, mingled, of course, with supernatural interpolations customary in all the historical writing of the ancient East.”[16]

More importantly, is the statement that Egypt would have converted to Judaism if the Exodus story was true a sound argument? Is Ezzat familiar with the New Testament, where it is stated throughout that the Jewish people saw Christ’s evidence as the Messiah but rejected him anyway? Is he familiar with the widespread persecutions of Christians throughout the first century by the Pharisees, who ended up exerting a powerful influence on Rome?

If Ezzat’s argument is genuine, then the Jewish people should have accepted Christ as the Messiah by now. But that is not the case. In fact, they as a subversive group began to persecute Christians from the first century and all the way to our modern time, though things got complicated over the centuries. In A.D. 70, the Jewish Temple was destroyed and Josephus himself described the event as the judgment of God upon the Jews. Did they convert as a group?

No. Instead, they began to cook up evidence, forge lies and fabrications, accused Christians on trumped-up charges, assassinate Christians and perceived enemies, put curses and maledictions on Christians,[17] and allied with emperors in order to terrorize Christian communities.[18] Even Josephus agreed that Nero was trying to please the Jewish community and “showed favour to his [Jewish] wife Poppaea” when he started to liquidate Christians.

Historian Herbert B. Workman added:

“The Jews, working probably through Poppaea, the famous mistress and wife of Nero, whose superstitious nature led her to dally with Judaism, or through Alitururs, a favourite Jewish mime, took the opportunity of the great fire and the need for a scapegoat to save themselves and at the same time to wreak vengeance on the Christians.”[19]

“Poppaea’s influence was at the full when on June 9, 62, she obtained an order for the slaughter of Octavia, Nero’s [first] wife.”[20]

Nero’s persecution, says Workman, “stamped itself for ever upon the memory of the Church by reason of its fiendish cruelties as well as its distinguished victims.”[21]

Because they caused so much trouble throughout the empire, the Romans began to despise the Jews.

“Suetonius shows that the Jews were expelled from Rome under Claudius around A.D. 50 for causing riots in confrontations with Christians. The Jews were disliked by the Romans and frequently stirred up trouble in Rome causing them to be expelled from Rome on other occasions.”[22]

So, Ezzat is wrong again when he argues that “Egypt would have converted to Judaism instantly after the God of the Israelites had revealed his might by destroying the land and its king (so-called Pharaoh).” He is operating under the assumption that people will change their views once they see the evidence, but this hypothesis is not entirely true.

On the contrary, we have good evidence which suggests that evidence alone does not necessarily lead people to change their minds. Sometimes ideology is more powerful than evidence.

If anyone would like to challenge that claim, perhaps he should be familiar with the work of people like Aldous Huxley, Richard Lewontin, Victor J. Stenger, and even Paul Davies. Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, put the issue quite bluntly when he stated in the New York Times Book Reviews more than a decade ago:

“We take the side of science [Darwinian evolution] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”[23]

In a similar tone, Huxley declared,

“For myself, as for no doubt most of my contemporaries, the essence of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation…We objected to morality because it interferes with our sexual freedom.”[24]

What kind of evidence will convince people like these? Is there enough information in this world that will help them change their ideological weltanschauung?

The answer is no.


What we are seeing here is that both Ezzat and the genetic theorists seem to misrepresent the stories of the Old Testament. They do not seem to understand that that Zionism and other subversive movements which the Dreadful Few had forged over the centuries cannot be exegetically drawn from the Old Testament but from the Talmud.

On the contrary, the Old Testament is filled with “unpleasant” things to say about rebellious Israel. The children of Israel, we are told over and over, have “a rebellious heart” (Jeremiah 5:23) and are “wise to do evil” (4:22). The children of Israel “committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife” (5:7-8). And then this:

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury. Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof…” (19:6-9, 11-12).


Like Ezzat—who asserts in several parts of his book that if one happens to take the Exodus story as genuine then he or she is part of the “historically uneducated masses” or the “hordes of gullible and uneducated masses”—the Pharisees and later the rabbis deliberately failed to see that the stories in the Old Testament were universal in scope; that is, the stories discuss unimaginable death, human suffering, injustice, anger, immorality, and ultimately spiritual redemption, which to us got their fulfillment at the foot of the cross.

The Pharisees thought that the Old Testament was about them and their “greatness,” and when they came to Jesus, they hubristically declared that “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to anyone…”

The Pharisees and rabbis, through the Talmud, ended up distorting the Old Testament and ended up keeping the Jewish people morally and spiritually captive. It is no surprise that they falsely claim that the Old Testament justifies their immoral activity in the Middle East. They are spiritually and intellectually blind, so they used the Old Testament to support their Talmudic carnage and perversion.

This is one reason why the book of Revelation in the first century denounces them as the synagogue of Satan—people who say they are Jews but in reality are liars. And since they also trapped evangelical Christians into the same Talmudic culture, evangelical Christians, since 1948, have defended the genocidal activity of the Israeli regime.

Take for example Looney Tunes such as John Hagee. In order to make the Zionist case, Hagee had to deny that Christ never came to be the Messiah:

 

Shame on these people.


I have recently listen to the moving testimony of a rabbi’s son who actually became a Christian. He said,

“I had a big hatred for Arabs. I used my position in the army when I was stationed in Lebanon to exorcise that hatred.”

But after he became a Christian, everything changed. “I learned how to love all people and my brothers, the Arabs,” he said.

He had huge perks but lost them all shortly after his radical shift. His grandfather and all his family instantly deserted him. Before his grandfather passed away, he offered him about a million dollars if he decided to come back.

“Soon after, my grandfather’s lawyer contacted me and invited me to his office. Because I was the oldest son of my immediate family, my grandfather left me the part of the inheritance that would have gone to my father who had died some years before. 

“I walked into the office, which was also in our Orthodox town of Bnei-Brak, and he said, ‘Your grandfather left you four million shekels (which was then about one million dollars) and he left you land and a part of the house on condition that you sign right here that you don’t believe in Yeshua.

“I said, ‘I won’t do it.’ The lawyer looked at me and said, ‘Nobody’s here, just sign the paper, take the four million and do what you want.’

“I turned to the lawyer and said, ‘God is here.’

“He said, ‘If you don’t sign this paper, that money will be transferred to your family.’ I answered, ‘If that’s God’s will, so be it, but tell them Yeshua gave them the money!’ And I left.

“But the money that I gave up was not half as painful as having lost my grandfather. My own father had passed away when I was 16. I am praying for the salvation of Israel, and very specifically for the rest of my family.”

What would people like Hagee say to a person like that? Here is a son of a rabbi praying for the salvation of Israel, and here is John Hagee praying for the destruction of the Goyim, namely, Iran!

More importantly, what would the people who say that Jewish behavior is genetic say to such a man? One part of me would love to ask him, “So, tell me my brother. I’ve read that you folks have bad genes which make you all behave in a certain way. How did you get rid of them? I would very much like to know.” But the other part of me is saying that I should never insult a human being with such a dumb and morally repugnant statement.


Ezzat and the people he cites approvingly in his book do not seem to understand that the fundamental issue is theological (or Talmudic). The reason the Zionist regime is slaughtering the Palestinians is because they have learned this method from the Talmud, which is a perversion of the Old Testament.

Ezzat is right on target when he criticizes Zionism. But the major premises in his book cannot be taken seriously because they are full of holes.

 


[1] Margaret MacMillan, Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: Modern Library, 2010), 36.

[2] Christopher Behan McCullagh, Justifying Historical Descriptions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 18-24.

[3] Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation (New York: Routledge, 1991), 19-20. For similar studies, see for example Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2001).

[4] From 2001-2009, I spent countless hours researching this very subject. This led me to study the Jewish involvement in nineteenth-century slavery. I have discussed this issue in much detail in Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. I (Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2010).

[5] See for example Daniel C. Snell, “Slavery in the Ancient Near East,” Keith Bradley and Paul Cartledge, ed., The Cambridge World History of Slavery, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), chapter 1; Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982); David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966); for similar topics, see for example Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000); Eugen Strouhal and Werner Forman, Life of the Ancient Egyptian (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 101.

[6] Douglas J. Brewer and Emily Teeter, Egypt and the Egyptians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 96; for similar accounts on some of these issues, see for example Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982), 167, 175; David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 32, 36, 47, 54.

[7] B. G. Trigger, B. J. Kemp, David O’Connor, and Alan B. Lloyd, Ancient Egypt: A Social History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 315.

[8] See Milton Meltzer, Slavery: A World History (New York: De Capo Press, 1993).

[9] For historical studies on these issues, see for example N. R. E. Fisher, Slavery in Classical Greece (London: Bristol Classical Press, 1993); Joseph Vogt, Ancient Slavery and the Ideal of Man (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975); Thomas Wiedemann, Greek and Roman Slavery (New York: Routledge, 1989); Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Sandra R. Joshel, Slavery in the Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); K. R. Bradley, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Peter Garnsey, Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). I do not generally agree with the conclusions of some of those writers, but the consensus is that slavery was present in ancient Greece and Rome.

[10] For those who are interested in studying these issues, see for example Ian Shaw, ed., History of Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); J. B. Bury, The Cambridge Ancient History: Egypt and Babylonia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); George Rawlinson, History of Ancient Egypt (London and New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1886);  John Romer, A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012); Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954); L. W. King, History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery (London: British Museum, 1906); Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (New York: Random House, 2010).

[11] For an examination of Herodotus’ account, see for example James K. Hoffmeir, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

[12] Ibid., ix.

[13] See for example William F. Albright, From Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1946); Archaeology: Historical Analogy and Early Biblical Tradition (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966); New Horizons in Biblical Research (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966).

[14] Donald B. Redford, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, vol. II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 212, 294, 304, 522.

[15] Hoffmeir, Israel in Egypt, viii.

[16] Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1950), kindle edition.

[17] See for example Ruth Langer, Cursing the Christians?:  A History of the Birkat Haminim (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Israel Jacob Yuval, Two Nations in Your Womb: Perceptions of Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006). For similar historical studies, see for example Elliott Horowitz, Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).

[18] For historical studies on this, see for example W. H. C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965); Douglas R. A. Hare, The Theme of Jewish Persecution of Christians in the Gospel According to St. Matthew (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

[19] Herbert B. Workman, Persecution in the Early Church: A Chapter in the History of Renunciation (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1923), 37.

[20] Ibid., 34.

[21] Ibid., 202-203.

[22] I have discussed these issues in great detail in Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism, Vol. II (Bloomington: WestBow Press, 2013).

[23] Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NY Times Book Reviews, January 9, 1997.

[24] Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods Employed for their Realization. (London: Chatoo & Windus, 1946), 273.

“Largest Land Grab Since 1948” — israel (apartheid state) to Expel 36,000 Palestinians From Negev

“Largest Land Grab Since 1948” — Israel to Expel 36,000 Palestinians From Negev

Given the Israeli state’s rejection of their existence, government officials have called the Palestinians living in these villagers “violators” and “squatters” – accusing them of illegally occupying “state lands.”

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — According to an Israeli media report, the Israeli government has completed work on a massive, far-reaching plan that would expel an estimated 36,000 Palestinians from “unrecognized” villages in the Negev Desert. If the plan is approved by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, its implementation could begin as soon as this year and would take four years to complete. News of the plan was first published by Israel Hayom – Israel’s largest Hebrew-language newspaper, funded by Sheldon Adelson, the top donor to both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The plan — compiled by Uri Ariel, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his staff — features the seizure of an estimated 260,00 dunams (64,247 acres) from Palestine’s Bedouins. The size of the territory in question and the high number of Palestinians set to be affected has led some to call the plan the largest “land grab” of Palestinian-inhabited land since 1948, when the state of Israel was founded.

Israel Hayom’s report stated that, per the new plan, the Palestinian villages would be demolished and the ruins of their homes would then become the sites of “national projects,” infrastructure projects, and “security” installations after the forcible “transfer” of the land’s current inhabitants to other “state-approved” settlements such as Tel Sheva, Abu Talul and Umm Batin. The report noted that a major motivation behind the plan’s creation was the transfer of an arms-industry factory from another part of Israel to the Negev, as well as the expansion of the “Trans-Israel Highway” system.

Furthermore, the plan involves calling for a budget increase to boost the presence of law enforcement officials involved in the forcible “transfer” and in the demolition of Palestinian villages.

Rights groups have yet to comment on the newly announced plan targeting Palestinian communities in the Negev. However, Human Rights Watch has previously condemned Israel’s targeting of “unrecognized” Palestinian villages in the region. In 2016, Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, stated:

The forcible eviction of Bedouin residents to make way for a new Jewish town would be a blatant and ugly episode of discrimination mirroring Israel’s unlawful settlements. Long after most of the rest of the world has such rejected racist policies, the Israeli government keeps building and razing communities on the basis of religion and ethnicity.”

 

No recognition, no rights

The Bedouin Palestinians who inhabit these lands face an uphill battle in any effort to oppose the newly drafted plan. This is because their villages have long been “unrecognized” by the state of Israel, which has claimed that Palestinian Bedouins cannot “prove” their ownership or claim to the land. This has been used to justify the withholding of basic services, such as running water and electricity, from these areas. Residents, even though they are technically Israeli citizens, also lack addresses and their villages do not appear on official Israeli maps.

As a consequence of their lack of formal recognition, Israeli authorities do not regard the Palestinian inhabitants of these villages as having any rights to the land, even though many of the villages were established several decades ago by Palestinians forced from their homes following the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.

Given the state’s rejection of their existence, Israeli government officials have called the Palestinians living in these villagers “violators” and “squatters” – accusing them of illegally occupying “state lands.” As a result, these villages have constantly been under threat of demolition, with the Israeli government even forcing the inhabitants of demolished villages to pay for the destruction of their own homes.

Israel | Palestinians Negev

A Bedouin boy carries timber after demolished his home in the village of El Araqib near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba in 2010. Tsafrir Abayov | AP

 

Pushing towards complete annexation and ethnic cleansing

The newly announced plan is part of a wider Israeli government push to annex Palestinian territory and ethnically cleanse areas that have already been annexed by Israel. With the support of the Trump administration in the United States, right-wing Israeli politicians have been emboldened to introduce and promote measures that would result in the Israeli government’s complete annexation of Palestine’s West Bank, which has been under Israeli military rule since 1967 and has lost substantial amounts of land to the construction of illegal Jewish-only settlements supported by the Israeli government. Those efforts prompted the UN to warn last July that Israel’s government was poised to formally annex the West Bank in the coming years.

In addition, within areas already controlled by Israel, the effort to erase Palestinian communities is also picking up steam, as evidenced by the promotion of this new plan to expel 36,000 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship from their homes.

Last year, an Israeli Supreme Court ruling essentially authorized and justified the Israeli government’s demolition of “unrecognized” Palestinian villages after hearing the case of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, located east of Jerusalem. That ruling has now set a precedent that critics claimed would allow the Israeli government to “ethnically cleanse” any Palestinian village within its territory, despite the fact that the practice is considered illegal by international law.

 

A man on a mission

It should be no surprise then that Uri Ariel, who drafted this latest plan, is one of the Israeli government’s top proponents of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian-inhabited territories. A member of the far-right Jewish Home party and vocal proponent of illegal settlements, Ariel stated last June that the Israeli government should forcibly annex 60 percent of the West Bank.

This past December, Ariel then stepped up his rhetoric regarding Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev, stating:

I am happy to announce a revolution in the Negev regarding the illegal construction. The enforcement agencies, together with the proper activities of the Bedouin Settlement Authority according to my instructions, created a new situation in the Negev: in 2019, we will aspire to zero illegal construction in the Negev.

We have increased the means of enforcement, we have demonstrated the validity of an attack along with significant land marketing, and we are on the right path to dramatically reduce and later eliminate the illegal takeover of state land in the Negev. The Negev will no longer be a no-man’s-land area without governance.”

Ariel reiterated this policy in January, stating that he would implement a “zero tolerance” policy for “illegal” Bedouin construction on Bedouin land, and again accusing Bedouin Palestinians of “taking over” Israeli state land.

A recent Haaretz report found that Ariel has been drafting plans to evict Palestinian Bedouins from their homes since the 1970s. Now, with a top post in Netanyahu’s government, Ariel seems to have finally garnered the power and the political support to make his long-planned push to ethnically cleanse Palestinian communities a reality.

Top Photo | Bedouin women sit outside a demolished home by Israeli forces in the southern village of Umm al-Hiran, Jan. 18, 2017. Tsafrir Abayov | AP

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and has contributed to several other independent, alternative outlets. Her work has appeared on sites such as Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire among others. She also makes guest appearances to discuss politics on radio and television. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

Jerusalem Archbishop: ‘Everything Palestinian is targeted by israel’s (apartheid state) occupation’

Jerusalem Archbishop: ‘Everything Palestinian is targeted by Israel’s occupation’

MEMO | February 2, 2019

Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna, seen during a protest in the West bank city of Hebron, January 22, 2015 [Muhesen Amren / ApaImages]

The Palestinian Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna, said yesterday that “everything Palestinian in Jerusalem is targeted by the Israeli occupation”.

During a meeting with a delegation from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF), Hanna explained the dangers threatening Palestinians’ existence and identity in the Holy City, Al-Wattan Voice reported.

“Everything is in danger in Jerusalem,” Hanna said, adding: “The Islamic and Christian holy sites and endowments are targeted in order to change our city, hide its identity and marginalize our Arabic and Palestinian existence.”

Hanna added that “recently, the Israeli occupation cancelled a planned celebration on the 50th anniversary of establishing Al-Maqased Hospital,” noting that the Israeli occupation had cancelled many other Palestinian events planned to take place in Jerusalem.

The Archbishop said that Palestinians “are living under severe torture and harsh persecution,” pointing to Israel’s closure of Palestinian institutions in the city. “It seems that they wanted us to give up Jerusalem and submit to their polices, measures and practices,” he added.

Hanna continued: “Jerusalem is for us and will remain for us. We will never give up our rights in Jerusalem and we will defend it against Israeli oppression.”

Addressing the MSF staff, he said: “We want you to know closely the suffering of the Palestinians and the oppression inflicted by the Israeli occupation on them in Jerusalem. We want our message to reach all the people around the world as we want more friends for the Palestinians.”

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